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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Harvard study: No difference in teachers produced by UF, USF, SPC, etc.

The Florida Department of Education turned heads last fall when it released data showing how rookie teachers from different Florida education colleges fared, based on the learning gains of their students on the FCAT. The data, though limited, suggested some ed schools were cranking out more effective teachers than others.

A Harvard study released today says not so fast.

It looked at more data and more teachers. It used "value-added models" to consider the effects of variables such as student poverty level and class size. And it concludes there's not much difference in effectiveness between a teacher with a degree from UF or FSU or USF or any of the state's other public universities (or from St. Petersburg College, which the study also included.)

The researchers found the same thing when they looked specifically at teachers with education degrees from those institutions. "The pattern of results is so consistent across models and across institutions that one can be quite confident that no institution of higher education in Florida produces teachers that systematically secure higher levels of student achievement on the FCAT," says the working paper, co-written by Matthew Chingos, a graduate fellow at Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance, and PEPG director Paul E. Peterson.

The study also found noneducation majors were just as effective in the classroom as education majors.


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:07am]


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